Times and Seasons 2009 Mormon of the Year: Harry Reid

January 11, 2010 | 130 comments
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Times and Seasons has selected Harry Reid as Mormon of the Year for 2009.

During 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was the most visible and influential Mormon politician in the world, shepherding Democratic legislative proposals through the U.S. Senate after the party’s victories in the 2008 elections, including a landmark health care bill that represents one of the more controversial pieces of legislation to pass through the Senate in recent memory. Reid’s off-the-cuff style has also led occasionally to unscripted remarks that have attracted a lot of attention.

While Reid’s faith is not always discussed as much as that of other Mormon politicians, he remains an active member of his ward. In recent years he has helped the Church on some crucial issues, including helping to broker a compromise over Martin’s Cove. Reid spoke openly about his faith in a 2007 address at Brigham Young University and touched on his conversion and beliefs in his recently published memoir. A fixture in Nevada politics who has dedicated his life to public service for decades, Reid has long advocated that one can consistently be both a Democrat and a Mormon.

President Barack Obama meets with (from left) Senator Harry Reid, Joshua DuBois, President Thomas S. Monson and Elder Dallin H. Oaks in the Oval Office.  © Official White House Photograph by Pete Souza

President Barack Obama meets with (from left) Senator Harry Reid, Joshua DuBois, President Thomas S. Monson and Elder Dallin H. Oaks in the Oval Office. © Official White House Photograph by Pete Souza

Times and Seasons has covered Harry Reid before. You can see a list of posts that mention Reid here. However, given Reid’s continuing political position and assumed aspirations, this recognition should not be seen as an endorsement of his political positions or aspirations.

The Mormon of the Year designation is a recognition of the effect that the person or group of persons recognized has had during the past year. It is not a prize or award, so nothing of value is being given to anyone as a result of this designation, and it is not necessarily meant to honor the person or persons recognized, so no effort will be made to contact or notify Reid.

We were very pleased by the interest in selecting the Mormon of the Year. The Times and Seasons readers nominated 20 possibilities in addition to the original 5 in the post. We learned a lot from those nominations, especially the range of our readers’ beliefs and feelings. We even learned about some Mormons who have done significant things and really deserve to be on a list of possible Mormons of the Year.

The LDS Church’s First Presidency (including the Prophet) and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were excluded from nominations because their overwhelming influence would mean their selection every year. In many ways each of them, and especially the Prophet, are always the Mormon of the Year.

We also appreciate those who dropped by and participated in our online vote, which taught us a lot about the passion that many people have for their friends and those that they admire. Nearly 2,000 people voted in our poll, often coming from outside the bloggernacle, from fan sites associated with some of those nominated. We hope that those who dropped by enjoyed Times and Seasons and will drop by again.

Please plan on participating in next year’s Mormon of the Year nominations and designation. I’m sure that many of the nominees will show up in next year’s process, and those of us who were unfamiliar with some of the nominees can use that time to become more familiar with them. Certainly we will re-nominate some of them next year, if others do not. And, as we discovered this year, each year is very different, bringing a different mix of both news and candidates.

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130 Responses to Times and Seasons 2009 Mormon of the Year: Harry Reid

  1. Marc Bohn on January 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    After an initial delay, we’re opening comments for tasteful discussion on this thread. Please remember the T&S commenting norms and refrain from thread-jacking or levying inappropriate remarks against any of this year’s candidates.

  2. Ardis Parshall on January 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    A man deserving of recognition (although I voted for someone else). Gonna get in my thanks to T&S and my “attaboy, Harry!” before the thread disintegrates.

  3. Kent Larsen on January 11, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    FWIW, we didn’t really take Reid’s recent statements into account in selecting him as the Mormon of the Year (nor would we, because they were made in 2010, and this recognition covers 2009). My own opinion is that they weren’t too carefully worded, but, had they been worded better they would not have been different from what many pundits were saying during the campaign.

  4. Yvonne on January 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I am a lifelong resident of Nevada and proudly conservative. When I saw the headline on my Yahoo home page I was astonished. Harry Reid has been very much in the news. People all over the country know him as a senator from Nevada but I will bet you that less than 1% of those same people know him as a mormon. I myself did not know he was a mormon until well into my adulthood. He keeps the fact very low key most of the time. Therefore, I have to disagree with the reason for him being made “mormon of the year”.

  5. Ben H on January 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Yvonne, I think there are a lot of people who don’t know Reid is Mormon and would/will be surprised like you. Personally, I think this is a good reason to name him MOTY. I don’t know why it doesn’t come up more often, but I think people ought to know, particularly considering how much Mormons have been in the news lately in connection with other issues. Anyway, our decision wasn’t based on his being “the most visible”, etc. as a Mormon. The most visible person this year specifically as a Mormon would surely be someone else, like Glenn Beck. My hunch is that it isn’t really, or at least not primarily, Reid’s doing that his Mormonness has been so little mentioned. I would attribute it more to some of the oddities of the way the media operate.

  6. Mark B. on January 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Actually, Kent, the comments were made before Obama was elected–they’ve just become public in a book about the campaign.

    To Yvonne: do you think that a politician should make his religion a prominent part of his campaign? “Vote for me–I’m a ______”

  7. Raymond Takashi Swenson on January 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I think it is a sign of a kind of maturity in the Church that national TV can carry Glenn Beck (LDS) criticizing senators Harry Reid (LDS) and Chris Dodd (wife LDS) without involving the Church. It says that being Mormon does not determine one’s politics, which is where I think the Brethren are trying to position the Church. Just as the Church doesn;t want people to think that they have to be converted into Americans before they can become LDS, it doesn’t want them to think they have to be converted into conservative Republicans, or any other particular political affiliation, as a prerequisite to being Mormon.

    This is distinct from where some Christian ministers seem to be, who don’t think people can be “real Republicans” until they become (e.g.) Evangelical Christians. Only one generation ago, most of the Southern Baptists in the South were Democrats, so how their own religious affiliation became a prerequisite for Republican Party leadership is apparently one of those religious mysteries that can never be resolved.

  8. Bill of Wasilla on January 11, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I still think it should have been Kaimi – but, as it could not be, I think Harry Reid was the right choice as he has truly had a big impact in this nation and world. The fact that he has done so without making a public spectacle of his faith is a good thing, not a bad thing.

  9. Ben Huff on January 11, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Mark raises an interesting point. If we think about comparing Reid and Romney, for example, there are obvious reasons why it might come up more in the one case than the other. Reid is a Senator from Nevada. In Nevada there are lots of Mormons. Everyone knows some. Being Mormon is not all that remarkable in Nevada, at least compared with a lot of the rest of the country. Romney was running for President of the United States. Lots of people elsewhere in the U.S. don’t know a lot about Mormons and may wonder what to think about having one as President. Once Reid is elected, though he is acting at a national level, perhaps it is less of an issue. I suspect this isn’t the only factor playing out, but it probably has some bearing.

  10. Marc Bohn on January 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    Yvonne – I’m not sure how you were not aware of Reid’s membership in the Church until recently, but his Mormon faith has been a well known fact since his days on the Nevada Gaming Commission. I do not think it’s accurate to say that he goes out of his way to down play his beliefs.

  11. Ben H on January 11, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Marc, I’m not surprised there is such a thing as a Nevada Gaming Comission, but I am not sure I have ever heard anyone specifically talk about it before, let alone particular members of it. I don’t think it would be strange at all for someone not to know that Reid is Mormon. While he may have been the most visible Mormon politician this past year, he wasn’t all that visible as Senate Majority Leader, let alone as a Mormon.

  12. Steve Evans on January 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    “I’m not surprised there is such a thing as a Nevada Gaming Comission, but I am not sure I have ever heard anyone specifically talk about it before, let alone particular members of it.”

    Not a fan of The Godfather Part II, then, I presume.

  13. Marc Bohn on January 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Ben H – If you were a life-long Nevada resident or a Francis Ford Coppola fan, you would know what the Nevada Gaming Commission was.

  14. Charles on January 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I’d say this is a good choice too, although I also voted for someone else.

    Its true that he doesn’t publicize his religion -and probably no one could in the democratic party and survive- but he is still a Mormon and an active one. And after all it is better to fully separate religion and politics imho.

    He had a big impact within the US due to the healthcare debate but I disagree that he had any influence at all around the rest of the world, again imho.

  15. Derrick Tornow on January 11, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Everything you have said regarding Reid is debatable. Mormon of the year….Ha Ha! Is this a joke? First of all we do not need a Mormon of the year. We as Mormons don’t need the limelight like other faiths and celebs. Second, Reid has pushed to get a health care plan through that is going to be run like the DMV and we all know how that is! Last I do not associate what Reid stands for and and what the LDS church stands for as the same. Reid is trying to make this a country of hand outs and not one of self reliance, tax the hard workers, tax, tax, tax.

    Last I would like to recommend Glenn Beck not as Mormon of the year but just as a good guy.

  16. John C on January 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    Politics aside, I like the way Reid handles his religion. My favorite thing in the world, when I lived in Irvine, CA, was for people I’d worked with for years to come up to me and say “I never knew you were Mormon. So-and-so just told me.” I like the notion of just being a good person first, and a Mormon second.

    That’s not to say that others whose Mormonism is more prominent is because they wear it on their sleeve. I’m not saying that. But what I am saying is that I like the way Reid tries to get the job done, and when Mormonism comes up, he addresses it as needed.

    Now I live in UT, and it’s a challenge. My boss told me that he is quite certain Reid cannot possibly hold a temple recommend, given his politics. I told him that I’m glad that’s not a decision I have to make, and tried to hint at him minding his own business.

    It’s interesting to me that people like Romney have to deal with the anti crowd, while people like Reid have to deal with the devout crowd, ie Derrick Tornow. I’m not sure which is worse.

  17. G.Taylor on January 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I can only figure that you had as few as a dozen people voting in this contest, because the vast majority of Mormon people I know find Harry Reid to be a vial disgrace to the Mormon faith. He goes against everything in the political arena that is right and spends his efforts fighting to destroy the U.S. Constitution and the freedoms of Americas people, standing by a socialist liberal agenda that not only goes against what the church teaches about the Constitution and the freedoms of this land, but also against everything that God did to put this country in a position of freedom for religious works to press forward. Harry Reid is nothing more than a typical greedy self serving politicain who cannot be trusted and must not be re-elected.

  18. Ardis Parshall on January 11, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    {banging head against wall} I knew the thread would disintegrate, and yet I still came back … what is wrong with me?

    The Reids are people any Mormon worthy of the name should be happy to share a ward with. I was.

  19. C. Daniels on January 11, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    You people discust me. You take a man who is destroying our country, a man who lies, steals, decieves, supports abortion, etc., etc., etc.,. This man should not even be a Mormon and I cannot believe he still is. He has taken everything good about this country and has either destroyed it, or is trying to destroy it. My only question is how much did he pay you?

  20. Chris Henrichsen on January 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    G. Taylor said: “the vast majority of Mormon people I know find Harry Reid to be a vial disgrace to the Mormon faith.”

    Wow, that is how I feel about the vast majority of Mormon people. We are even.

    C. Daniels: Reid opposes Roe. Though, I do support it.

  21. Kent Larsen on January 11, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Sigh.

    I’m very disappointed that so many Mormons seem to think that “conservative=the gospel.”

  22. Paul on January 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    How has this thread disintegrated? Ardis, you have your politics and opinions and so do others, who also certainly have the right to express what they believe. This award is very subjective, and certainly many will agree, but many won’t. That is what’s so great about these threads and this country.

  23. KW on January 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    I agree with C. Daniels that same-sex marriage is a right which should be supported (amen, brother!) and thus that Harry Reid’s vote in favor of DOMA constitutes taking “something good about this country” — marriage equality — and “trying to destroy it.”

    What a jerk. I should have asked him for more money.

  24. Kent Larsen on January 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    FWIW, the Salt Lake Tribune has an article on our selection of Reid as “Mormon of the Year.”

  25. Alison Moore Smith on January 11, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Let’s just say that the permablogger vote for Reid was not unanimous.

    But kudos to the guy for getting the vote here just as his poll numbers crash. After all, the award is supposed to be for the “greatest impact.” :)

  26. Scott C on January 11, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    Way to go G. Taylor. It looks to me like the times and seasons needed to get more people to come to their web site. Also Kent L. conservative may not = the gospel but liberal does = socialism and everything else that the gospel teaches against.

  27. Marc Bohn on January 11, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Please watch the personal attacks.

  28. C. Daniels on January 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Ardis, what has he done that makes him worthy to be man of the year? Let’s just start with honesty. WHAT has he done that is honest? Without honesty as the basic building block of a human being, there is nothing. I believe him to be evil. Bribing, stealing,lieing, cheating, decieving—We Really Want Him to Represent the Mormon Church. Please someone tell me something he has done that is good.

  29. Matt Evans on January 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Though I strongly oppose Reid’s politics, through the discussions of who was most deserving to be named Mormon of the Year for 2009 I’ve come to agree that Reid is the best choice. (FD: I supported Stephanie Meyer in the first ballot.)

    Now may the people of Nevada choose to give Brother Reid the time to be a full-time Mormon service missionary so he can finally do some good!

  30. Chris Henrichsen on January 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    C. Daniels,

    You missed comment #27.

  31. Chris Henrichsen on January 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    “Now may the people of Nevada choose to give Brother Reid the time to be a full-time Mormon service missionary so he can finally do some good!”

    Harry Reid for Mission President!

  32. Wilfried on January 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    As a non-American “outsider” I am (sadly) fascinated by the eagerness with which some Mormons attack senator Reid. Their rhetoric pointing at the “destruction of the Constitution”, the rise of socialism etc. is so full of cheap demagoguery that one must wonder how much they have really studied the issues (e.g., accusing Reid of supporting abortion shows how much they know about him).

    Anyway, as far as I understand (but of course I will be told that as a foreigner I cannot understand), senator Reid comes close to the ideals of a Christlike politician with social justice as his main concern. I found today’s statement by African-American Anthony Coley a noteworthy summary:

    “African-Americans, like everyone else, are more concerned with what politicians do than with what they say. And on that measure, Harry Reid is second to none. When it comes to issues that matter — affordable, quality health care; good-paying jobs with benefits; safe schools and communities; more middle-class tax cuts; less government waste — Reid gets it right. He has a 100 percent rating on the NAACP’s legislative report card.”

    But even if one disagrees with aspects of Reid’s political endeavors, his prominence in 2009 is undeniable, which certainly makes him a valid choice as “Mormon of the Year”.

  33. Matt Evans on January 11, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    #31, now that’s a campaign I fully support!

  34. Susan on January 11, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Let’s all read 4 Nephi tonight.

  35. Tim on January 11, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Susan, haven’t you heard? Ultra-onservative Christians are taking the part of Jesus and the adulterous woman out of the Bible, and ultra-conservative Mormons are doing the same with 4th Nephi. Can’t have any of that “no rich and no poor” socialism stuff in the holy scriptures…

  36. Ardis Parshall on January 11, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    As long as people like Harry Reid and me continue to “discust” some commenters, there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.

    (And before anybody rushes to correct my grammar because I’m jumping on someone who can’t spell, don’t. Do yourself a favor and just don’t.)

  37. Tim on January 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    #16:
    “It’s interesting to me that people like Romney have to deal with the anti crowd, while people like Reid have to deal with the devout crowd, ie Derrick Tornow. I’m not sure which is worse.”

    I’d say it’s always easier to be attacked unfairly from the outside than to be attacked unfairly from the inside.
    I continue to be impressed and amazed at how well Reid handles the type of unfair and ignorant criticisms evident on this thread.

  38. Charles on January 11, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Wow!

    Reading through these comments reiterates a growing belief I’ve had that the typical Conservative Mormon has a serious problem!

    Due to their almost fanatical ideology (his destroying our country, rise of socialism etc) they seem to be willing to vote in anyone just because the person claims to support Jesus and love freedom -then, that person, like George W Bush, invades a country and cause thousands of innocent deaths, but they keep supporting him! No wonder that saying: “if Satan was republican Utah would vote him in”. Ironic though that the evangelical wing of the GOP could never vote for a Mormon.

    Wilfried and what others here raise are legitimate issues, maybe worthy of a deeper more serious study than just comments.

    –Harry Reid for Mission President? No way: Harry Reid for Apostle I’d say.

  39. Tim on January 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    38–That would be one way to get all the wacko ultra-Conservatives out of the church.

  40. Neff on January 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Not really sure how you can be an active Democrat and a Mormon in good standing with the church. Funny thing, in my last Recommend interview my bishop heard I was from Nevada and said he would love to be his bishop and give him a recommend interview. Shady land deals and saying the church wasted money and resources fighting prop. 8 in California.

  41. Tim on January 11, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Funny. My EQP is an active Democrat. Practically all European members would be considered “Democrats.” (Wonder what politics President Uchtdorf has…) President Faust was a Democrat.
    What’s going on here? Are so many members so ignorant that they really believe that you can’t be a Democrat and a good Mormon?

  42. C. Daniels on January 11, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    As an FYI to the question about whether or not they support marriage of anykind, and therefore the family- are you aware that an unmarried couple making 30,000 a year will pay 1,320 for their part of the “free health insurance” and once they become married they will be 12,000. That is a difference of 10,680 if you get married. That doesn’t seem to be in support of marriage, no matter what side you are on. Also, does anybody think that paying 12,000 out of 30,000 for free health care plus whatever other expenses that will be associated, doesn’t sound like they are trying to make health care more affordable. This is hidden in the bill that has basically been hidden. That is dishonest. This is my point. What is honest about the people running this country.

    As far as the personal attacks, isn’t this a personal award? I think discussing what he has done personally is what this is all about, no matter which side you are on. Maybe I am wrong on that.

    Chris Henrichsen-Reid may say he opposes Roe, but he supports a bill that does not. (Honesty?) As far as hating Mormons because they are Mormon is missing the point of what people feel. It is not just Mormons that feel he is a “vial human being”. It is his actions that people dislike.

    Kent-People don’t think conservative = gospel (some might), but people like to think that gosple=honesty.

  43. Kaimi Wenger on January 11, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Neff writes,

    “Not really sure how you can be an active Democrat and a Mormon in good standing with the church.”

    Reid was last up for election in 2006. That same year the First Presidency letter on political neutrality which stated clearly:

    “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of all major political parties.”

    (See http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,635191859,00.html ).

    Clear enough?

  44. C. Daniels on January 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Charles, when are librals ever going to quit running against Bush. I didn’t even see any comments on Bush. But in regards to your comment about a rise to socialism. Can you deny it? Maybe you want it-maybe that is your idiologym but freedom loving Americians of any faith who do not want socialism are against Reid and his faithful companions.

  45. C. Daniels on January 11, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    idiology

  46. Chris Henrichsen on January 11, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Actually, it is ideology.

    It is because I am a freedom loving person of faith that I am rooting for socialism. Unfortunately for me, neither Obama or Reid is looking to deliver anything one woud seriously call socialism. Bummer for me.

  47. C. Daniels on January 11, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    I just have one more comment-hopefully and then I will shut up. But this is not a Democrate verses Republican issue. Why people keep saying that I will never understand. No one will comment on the honest issues that Harry Reid seems to have. Religions of all kind-believe in honesty, Democrats of all kinds believe in honesty- Republicans of all kinds believe in honesty- But there are dishonest people in all walks of life and no one who belongs to any group of any kind that believes in honesty, wants a dishonest person representing them.

  48. Chris Henrichsen on January 11, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    C,

    You have said the word “dishonest” over and over, but you only support for this is that you disagreee with his interpretation of the health reform bill. My guess is that you do not know what you are talking about.

  49. C. Daniels on January 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Sorry about the spelling of idology-maybe it was a Freudian slip. If you want socialism-you don’t get it or if you do get it, there is nothing I can do on this venue to change your mind. But if you haven’t, you may want to study it and look to your future. Because it is more that socialism that they want and at this point, looks like they are going to get. If that is truly the life that you want, you have the right guy as Man of the Year. Good luck to us all. We are going to need it. Thanks for all the conversation though to all of you.

  50. C. Daniels on January 11, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Chris, disagreee is spelled wrong.

  51. Chris Henrichsen on January 11, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    C,

    I am a horrible speller and a sloppy writer. Have been since grade school. My problem is less with your spelling of ideology and more your overly simplified understanding of ideology.

  52. Wing-nut on January 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Harry Reid is a MINO. He supports a platform that is extremly pro abortion and socialistic. I have always struggled to understand how someone can call themselves a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and then not just support but completely fight for so many things that are destroying individuals and families. I think the writters of this Blog have shown where their agenda lies.

  53. Kaimi Wenger on January 11, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    “I think the writters of this Blog have shown where their agenda lies.”

    Our beloved pro-abortion, pro-socialist, MINO agenda was the also reason we selected Mitt Romney as last year’s Mormon of the Year. http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2009/01/2008-mormon-of-the-year-romney/

  54. Kent Larsen on January 11, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Scott C. wrote (26): “liberal does = socialism and everything else that the gospel teaches against.”

    Scot, I’m not sure where the gospel teaches against socialism — at least not the definition from Wikipedia (see below). Under the definition below, Socialism seems completely compatible with responsibility and keeping the comandments. Now, I don’t advocate socialism myself, but I don’t think you are justified in claiming that it is incompatible with the gospel.

    C. Daniels wrote (44): “But in regards to your comment about a rise to socialism. Can you deny it?”

    Apparently, like Scott and like most of the conservative rhetoric, you don’t know the definition of socialism. Perhaps I’m completely out of it, but I haven’t seen a significant rise in “worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources” (corporate ownership and control are still intact!) and really not much of a rise in “public ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.” I don’t even see that advocated as the goal of many Democrats. [The health care legislation in process does increase regulation significantly in that sector, but I'm not sure it really constitutes "public ownership and administration" of healthcare. As I understand it, theoretically all the current businesses in healthcare will continue to exist independent of government ownership and administration.]

    AND, what rise there has been has happened under Republicans and with their participation as much as with Democrats.

    Perhaps “Socialism” is mostly a negatively-charged label that conservatives use for things that they don’t like?

    Definition from Wikipedia:

    Socialism refers to the various theories of economic organization advocating public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources, and a society characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended.

  55. WJ on January 11, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Kaimi, “Principles compatible with the gospel may be found in the platforms of all major political parties.”

    I think this is a good summary of the issue. Its the principles that matter more than the political label. Feeding the poor is a good example. There is good gospel support for this and I think it fair to say that both parties believe this is important goal. The difference consists in what exactly is the best method to fulfill this goal, with the Democrats and Republicans taking dramatically different approaches. A bad example is abortion. There is little (none?) gospel support for this. So what trumps?

    I recently read an article explaining that when Utah became a state, it needed two political parties, so the Church leadership split active members of the church into two parties, including Faust’s family, which is how President Faust himself became a Democrat. I think, however, you would have been hard pressed to find President Faust citing party loyalty in support of abortion instead of advocating the Church’s public stance that abortion is not permissible, except in very rare circumstances.

  56. Kent Larsen on January 11, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    WJ (55):
    So, you are saying that position on abortion is the only litmus test?

    Does it matter that Reid is himself against abortion?

    Is everyone that belongs to a party incompatible with gospel teachings just because the party’s position on one issue is incompatible with gospel teachings?

    Of course, all this is beside the point of this whole exercise. We are naming the person who had the most impact. The rules of this exercise do NOT say that the person has to even be an active, temple-going member, let alone pass muster in the opinion of every member, regardless of his stewardship over the person. [I assume no one commenting here is Reid's Bishop or Stake President or relevant general authorities, the only ones who have stewardship over his position in the gospel.]

    This IS NOT about whether Reid is faithful enough as an LDS Church member. It IS about his impact, be it positive OR negative.

  57. Matt Rasmussen on January 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Taking political views out of the equation, the fact that the Mormon of the Year is not well known as being a “Mormon” demonstrates that we’re not doing enough to be a light unto the world.

  58. WJ on January 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    Kent Larsen, “Perhaps I’m completely out of it, but I haven’t seen a significant rise in “worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources” (corporate ownership and control are still in tact! and really not much of a rise in “public ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.” I don’t even see that advocated as the goal of many Democrats.”

    Maybe not across the board, but certainly when the government gobbled up significant portions of Wall Street during the economic crisis, there was collective ownership (via the government) over those companies, which included oversight over the allocation of resources (e.g. public uproar over the continued payout of large bonuses to AIG execs, and the appointment of a pay czar). You cited health insurance as well. While insurance companies might remain distinct, regulation (via the government and therefore taxpayers) will put significant restrictions on their business activities. In Marxist terms, this could be “the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.” (ht dictionary.com).

    While Democrats don’t stand up and shout “Bring on Socialism” per se, generally speaking they support the above principles (“It was a good thing the government intervened the country from financial implosion”) and therefore, at least in some implicit way, favor Socialism. Is that not a fair conclusion?

  59. WJ on January 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Kent Larsen, “So, you are saying that position on abortion is the only litmus test?

    No brother, you totally missed my point. I challenge you to find how I intimated that abortion was anything more than “one example.” It is hardly a litmus test.

    Does it matter that Reid is himself against abortion?”

    Again, missing the point. It absolutely matters, because this would be one case where Reid is supporting “principles” over “political party.” And for that I give Reid credit.

  60. Western Dave on January 11, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    Hm, being neither Mormon nor a Nevadan, I don’t particularly have a pony in this race. But as a historian who sometimes studies Mormons, I have to say some of these attacks on Reid seem awfully reminiscent of similar attacks on Mssrs. Smith and Young both of whom, in their day, were accused of undermining the Constitution and the market economy.

  61. Jonathan Green on January 11, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Reid was a good choice. Nice work, Kent et al.

  62. Russell Arben Fox on January 11, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    Well said David (#60); very well said!

  63. Kent Larsen on January 11, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Western Dave (60):

    To say nothing of that whole “United Order” thing. Dang socialists!! (at least they fit the definition!)

  64. Ben H on January 11, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    We made it very clear in the post that naming someone MOTY is not an endorsement of anything, especially not anything political. Reid made the biggest impact in 2009 of any Mormon outside the FP and Q12. If you hate him, there is a reason why, and that just shows how important he was, validating our judgment. So, statements about whether he has been an influence for good or bad are really beside the point.

  65. WJ on January 11, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    For the record, I think Reid was a good selection.

  66. Dan on January 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    what is it with conservatives and spelling?

    Anyways, I didn’t vote for Reid for Mormon of the Year. I thought Glenn Beck was. In any case, Reid is a good choice.

  67. Ben H on January 11, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Hey guys, you don’t think DKL is on this thread, do you?

  68. sister blah 2 on January 11, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Maybe not across the board, but certainly when the government gobbled up significant portions of Wall Street during the economic crisis

    WJ, you’ve convinced me. Bush was totally a socialist. Good thing we kicked out the Republicans before socialism ruined America.

  69. Ardis Parshall on January 11, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    Hey guys, you don’t think DKL is on this thread, do you?

    No. DKL can spell.

  70. Steve Kirk on January 11, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    As a political insider in Nevada, I can tell you, Mormons need to back away from Harry as much as you can. There will be some revelations that will knock your socks off. His nudie bar mafia lawyer buddies are not people you want hanging around.

  71. WJ on January 11, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    sister blah 2, “WJ, you’ve convinced me. Bush was totally a socialist. Good thing we kicked out the Republicans before socialism ruined America.”

    Right, because the Democrats really reversed course on this front after they took over the reigns of power. While your point re Bush is valid, that is, he did kick off the bailout party, I think the fact remains that Democrats generally are more supportive of those actions (though I’ll acknowledge that it is not uncommon for political parties to oppose policies they would otherwise support if they were in power, for the sake of disagreeing with their adversaries — which illustrates again the problem with party over principle). Certainly so on healthcare.

  72. iamse7en on January 11, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Give me a break. This guy is a clueless shill for the liberal party. He’s got no backbone and he won’t be reelected this year because the people in his state are learning what a loser he is.

    Goodbye Reid. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

  73. BasuMagu on January 11, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    I nominate Harry Reid for a Nobel prize.

    Strike while the irons hot Harry; don’t let that full facial rehab go to waste.

  74. salas on January 12, 2010 at 12:32 am

    no puede ser tan bueno si es amigo de nancy pelosi

  75. Charles on January 12, 2010 at 1:08 am

    #44 C Daniels “Charles, when are librals ever going to quit running against Bush” Actually I’m Labour not Liberal.

    When will Bush be left alone you ask? Probably after he faces Justice for his actions, simple.

    But seriously the commentary here proves that Reid IS a good choice given the criteria. Congratulations T&S.

    By the way, I’m the the real DKL.

  76. sscenter on January 12, 2010 at 1:13 am

    I think that Harry Reid is a good choice. Being unpopular and even losing an election really is not the best evidence of being right or wrong and it is short-sighted to use this as a measure of what kind of person one is. (I know this is quaint but really, Jesus was very unpopular)

    That said I have asked myself the following: why do we have to live in a democratic society? Socialism I do think is flawed and inherently evil. But so are many other things that effect our American culture right now. I think that there is a natural tendency when times are hard to look to the government for help and protection. The last twenty-one years we have been led by men that as a conservative, I think are very, very liberal. I have not seen Obama change any major policy that Bush enacted. So this means that we have chosen to be more liberal even during times when the economy has flourished. I believe that we will continue in this way. And we will go on. Poor policy will not mean the end of America any more that it meant the end of Rome. We will lose standing as we have engaged in needless wars and have bankrupted our country but we will emerge from this and may even be better off in the long run if it causes us to regroup and reevaluate.

    On a different note, I know that the those who are members of the church and are very liberal in their social and political views often feel that they have to censor themselves on Sunday to fit in. I understand that and am sorry for this. However, I find that on the sites such as this one, people who share my beliefs are often treated the same way by those who feel so dejected on Sunday morning. I think that is why over time there is a hard push to the left as blog after blog leans in that direction. Conservatives feel that they are either ignored or mocked (and they are) and they eventually leave. This defaults then that T&S as well as many others will become even more liberal and then more conservatives will feel that they might as well stay away.

    This causes me great frustration and concern. If stating what one really believes in causes others to reject them and then they stay away, we have all lost. This is true at church but also in the forum of ideas that sites like this represent. I really worry that Glenn Beck (who is awful) and Harry Reid (who is also awful) represent not a split in the church but in a type of classism, pitting us against each other over ideology. This is seen over and over in the scriptures and is never, ever good. Intended or not, some of the comments here (and many other places) really do sound like both sides hate, strongly and personally, those who disagree with them.

    I wonder if my own statements that I have made over time about people whose beliefs differ from my own has caused me to hyper-evaluate myself and led me to denigrate others. I know that unfortunately I have been guilty of this sin. I take little comfort in reading post after post and realizing that mine is a shared sin and knows no political boundaries.

  77. Charles on January 12, 2010 at 1:14 am

    By the way T&S, would it be possible to publish here the full results? that is how many votes each person tallied, if you’d be so kind?

  78. Alison Moore Smith on January 12, 2010 at 1:29 am

    The spelling insults are getting really old. Is that they best argument here? And, Ardis, you’re really going to take that pot shot and then call time out on counter-jabs?

    Wilfried:

    close to the ideals of a Christlike politician with social justice as his main concern

    Maybe you can give me your definition of “social justice,” Wilfried, so that I can figure out how the heck it relates to both Harry Reid and the gospel. Right now, I’m baffled.

    Kent, the Wikipedia definition seems backward with that “direct worker” stuff, unless I’m misreading your except. Perhaps Merriam-Websters is better:

    any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

    Or, even better:

    a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

    Pretty soon we’re going to start hearing Mormons around the world talk about how communism isn’t so bad, it’s really just the United Order! Woot!

    When the government owns a huge chunk of banking, the auto industry, health care, and energy, you bet that’s a huge step toward socialism. What percentage of our economy is that? The government has begun to dictate what companies can PAY their employees! Well, that sounds fine and dandy when we’re keeping money from those horrible, greedy, rich CEOs. How will it sound when it’s horrible, rich, greedy lawyers? (I get to decide who qualifies.) Or [fill in the blank with your profession].

    We just vilify an entire industry and then we tax their money away while everyone else cheers.

    And, no, I’m not a republican.

    You’re kidding. Kent, did YOU really bring in the United Order as a comparison to socialism?

  79. Charles on January 12, 2010 at 2:19 am

    “so that I can figure out how the heck it relates to both Harry Reid and the gospel”

    Hummm…love they neighbour, help the poor, bless/look after the sick and afflicted? Something Reid understands obviously. Government can and does do this well in many parts of the world.

    I think that what bothered then Elder Benson the most was that Mormons would stay home watching TV if government did this for them, plus a huge federal deficit. Mind you other nations have done this (the look after the sick etc) without going into huge deficits but the USA has since gone into massive deficits and debt anyway, ie without helping the poor and needy. Ironic isn’t it?

  80. JoeSwiss on January 12, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Harold B. Lee, 1968: “If you have no enemies you say, alas, my friend, the boast is poor. He who has mingled in the fray of duty that the brave endure must have made foes. If you have none, small is the work you have done.”

    Harry Reid is the enemy to liberty. Count him among your enemies.

    The Church doesn’t want more “Democrats” and “Republicans”, it wants its people to follow eternal principles.

    “Capitalism is simply another name for liberty in the economic sphere.” Henry Hazlitt, 1960

  81. J. Pete on January 12, 2010 at 4:44 am

    regarding the question some have about being a mormon and a democrat…despite the loads of history and official statements and common sense that say YES it is possible (Utah after all was a blue state until Reagan) I offer this quote as well from a General Authority speaking as a witness of God and also at the express request of the First Presidency: “Any notion that it is impossible to be a Democrat and a good Mormon is wrongheaded and should be “obliterated.” Faithful LDS members have a moral obligation to actively participate in politics and civic affairs, a duty many have neglected.” –Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  82. J. Pete on January 12, 2010 at 4:50 am

    and who is DKL?

  83. Kent Larsen on January 12, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Alison (78): Yes, I DID and DO compare the United Order to Socialism. Under ANY of the definitions of socialism given, I don’t see how the United Order doesn’t qualify.

    As for the government ownership that resulted from the bailout, I think we need to give the process a little more time to finish. Both Republicans and Democrats have participated in bailouts of various industries before, going back to the 1930s, and the government stake taken has always been sold off. The government has also mostly taken a hands-off approach to the investment in these companies.

    So far, I haven’t seen evidence that this time is significantly different. If it is, I will be among those raising my objections to government control of companies and industries.

  84. Jonathan Green on January 12, 2010 at 6:59 am

    On second thought, maybe opening the thread for comments was a bad idea. That would have prevented me from saying:

    Alison, you aren’t making sense. I don’t mean that your comment is unclear, but that it’s fatally incoherent. That second definition of ‘socialism’ you quote is, as it says, the definition according to Marxist theory. So the only way it makes sense to cite it as a warning against impending communism is if you believe Marx’s theories are correct. Now that we’ve had a couple centuries to see how Marxist thought worked out, most people tend to apply Marx to the current world only with great care.

    As to your question, “What percentage of the economy is that?” it remains your responsibility to look up that fact, and put it into some context by comparing it to historical trends and to the economies of other nations, rather than merely intimating dark possibility by leaving the question unanswered.

    Finally, yes, it is true. If your company is on the brink of failure and the government opts to save it by taking possession of it, then the government is able to set compensation according to its own best judgment, or replace the management altogether. Such has always been the tragic plight of bankers.

  85. Dan on January 12, 2010 at 7:10 am

    Alison,

    The spelling insults are getting really old. Is that they best argument here?

    By all means, teach your fellow conservatives to spell and they won’t constantly fall prey to that petty argument. :) Clearly it works because you respond. :)

  86. JoeSwiss on January 12, 2010 at 7:18 am

    First Presidency Message, in Conference Report, Apr. 1942

    “Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan. Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved tool of the state to whom he must look for sustenance and religion; the United Order exalts the individual, leaves him his property, “according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants and needs,” (D&C 51:3) and provides a system by which he helps care for his less fortunate brethren; the United Order leaves every man free to choose his own religion as his conscience directs. Communism destroys man’s God-given free agency; the United Order glorifies it. Latter-day Saints can not be true to their faith and lend aid, encouragement, or sympathy to any of these false philosophies. They will prove snares to their feet.”

  87. Blake Messinger on January 12, 2010 at 7:30 am

    I remember my Great Aunt Bibby, the last Mormon Matriarch of our family. She was a staunch Democrat and found great injustice for the common and downtrodden man in the political philosophy of Republicans. She often thought she offended the Mormon church by her political view but her Bishop would reassure her that her sainthood had nothing to do with her political beliefs. I found great inspiration in my Aunt Bibby and continue to share her political hope in the Democratic party.

    As I grow older, I am now 51, I find myself less black and white and more gray in my political beliefs. Just as my politics are less defined I find myself coming back to my religious beliefs. I am open again to the possibility of the Mormon story ringing true. I will let my memory and deep respect for my Great Aunt Bibby be my guide….

  88. KirkC on January 12, 2010 at 8:26 am

    This thread would have been better with comments disabled.

  89. Steve M on January 12, 2010 at 8:34 am

    The Socialism comments are really getting old. Conservatives need to stop beating this dead horse.

    Harry Reid is many things, but he’s no Socialist.

  90. Wilfried on January 12, 2010 at 8:35 am

    Alison, you asked how “social justice” relates to both Harry Reid and the gospel.

    Wikipedia gives a good overview of the various facets of the concept of social justice, a concept that the Catholic church in particular has developed in response to both capitalism and socialism/communism. One of its main characteristics is concern for the poor and the vulnerable, for minorities at risk, to ensure that all can live a life in dignity, including housing, education, work, and health care – but without undermining liberty. Its inspiration comes from the gospel. Politicians who constantly work in that direction are viewed as part of that broad movement.

    How to realize social justice has been the topic of endless debates in multiple schools of thought and action. It is easy to criticize people who try to achieve social justice. But I believe that also our Church has as one of its basic tenets to achieve social justice.

  91. Alex T. Valencic on January 12, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Harry Reid made a big impact on the news, for both good and bad. To everyone who is bashing Bro. Reid and questioning his worthiness within the Church, shame on you. It is not your responsibility to judge him (unless, of course, you happen to be his bishop; but, then, I’d expect you to sit quietly and keep confidential things confidential). I, personally, do not care for Sen. Reid’s methods of politicking, but, then, that is true for most politicians. But my dislike doesn’t change the impact he had on the news in America.

    I don’t know how much of an impact Sen. Reid made in the news outside of the US, but, as this is a designation with no real import, it probably doesn’t really matter. Eventually there will be more T&S readers who come from outside the States, and then maybe we’ll finally hear about the Mormons making a splash in the news world-wide.

    To those engaged in the ridiculous Mormon Democrat vs. Mormon Republican debate: grow up. Seriously, folks. It is embarrassing to see Mormons who believe that their political views are the only right ones, regardless of those views. You may disagree with someone else’s viewpoints, but that doesn’t mean that they are bound for Outer Darkness. It is also embarrassing to see grown people accusing each other of such petty things as making spelling and grammatical errors because of a political persuasion. Is that seriously all you have to use in your argument? It is equally embarrassing to see members of the Church who seem to think that American politics are crucial to the doctrines of the Lord’s Church. I’m pretty certain that the Lord doesn’t care what political party you support. He does care what you personally support.

    I am wondering if there will ever be a serious, honest dialogue about politics around here. Can we discuss issues without resorting to petty name-calling and fallacious arguments? Can’t we all just… get along?

  92. Tim B on January 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

    Someone who says the following should NOT be mormon of the year:

    In the past years we’ve had some very prominent members of the church, like Ezra Taft Benson, who are really right-wing people.

    Members of the church are obedient and followers in the true sense of the word, but these people have taken members of the church down the path that is the wrong path.

    He blatantly said that a prophet of the lord was leading us down the wrong path. That is blasphemy plain and simple.

    Ezra Taft Benson was not what ‘right wing’ is now, if he lived now his views would be considered Libertarian if anything.

    It’s time for members of our faith to rise up and quit wasting our time (and throwing away our freedoms) by voting for Democrats or Republicans – we need to stand up and vote for a real party that supports freedom of agency! The politicians take away our agency with the War on Terror and the War on Drugs – saying it’s for the best and for safety and to “protect” our freedoms. Read D&C 134 and ponder and pray – remember the difference between Christ’s plan and Satan’s plan for salvation – remember that Satan wanted to keep us in line by terror. Quit voting for politicians that support an earthly plan like satan’s plan. vote for politicians that support agency and free will over forcing someone to do what we think is right.

  93. Blake on January 12, 2010 at 9:52 am

    To name this man as Mormon of the Year does nothing but show a complete lack of understanding of the real issues facing this country by your publication. One could argue his views and political agenda are some of the most socialistic this nation has ever seen. Moron of the Year is a far more appropriate title.

  94. J. Pete on January 12, 2010 at 9:55 am

    i am so tired of people not caring to know the differences of political systems or ideologies, instead they throw the words out there as talking points of general bad-ness. for example: socialism and communism are not totally synonymous. and liberal does not mean socialist. democrat doesn’t = communist! the differences (inherent in the fact that they are different words) are important to know should one engage in debates where they are thrown around like 4-letter accusations. Communism is only one expression of socialism, and history has shown us that it is the wrong one. But lets not dumb down our language so much to assume they are interchangeable words.

  95. Tim B on January 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

    No matter how you cut it = socialism is legalized robbery and removes a great portion of agency from the population.

    Which is holier in the eyes of the lord:

  96. Tim B on January 12, 2010 at 10:07 am

    No matter how you cut it = socialism is legalized robbery and removes a great portion of agency from the population.

    Which is holier in the eyes of the lord:
    1 – a man who gives from his heart and of his own free will
    2 – a man who could care less but the money is taken from his paycheck forcefully by the government

  97. Fred on January 12, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I’m with Tim B. and Blake. Reed should be Excommunicated for being the Moron he is. As a LDS member Reed is an embarrassment.

  98. Mfpenny on January 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I for one would not want to be an elected leader especially of our country. Think about the responsibility…Something that impressed my about Bro. Reid was an article I read a few weeks ago. It talked about his busy schedule, but it mentioned that he fit time in every month to do his home teaching. Well, I have to admit, my schedule if proabably far less busy than his and I struggle to faithfully do my home teaching every month.

  99. J. Pete on January 12, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Tim B:
    what about a man (or woman) who cares deeply from his heart that he exercises his agency in the public sphere to vote in policy that is an expression of his caring? What if an entire society did that? That is the ultimate expression of agency, to vote something into law that looks out for our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Societal safety nets are important. Then should that person also donate to charities of their own free will and to the church…wow! there is agency going on all over the place! It is a commandment/law to pay tithes and fast offerings. But it is always our choice, an expression of our agency, yet there are consequences attached. Can we not as a society try to emulate, however imperfectly, a similar system? (i.e. welfare etc)

  100. Wilfried on January 12, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Tim B, if your “1″ would work to solve the poverty and misery of the world, I’m all for it. Regrettably, it isn’t sufficient. Your “2″ is certainly not good either. There is a “3″ – a man who gives from his heart and of his own free will and accepts that the government is trying to make up for the insufficiency of “1″.

  101. E L Frederick on January 12, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I would not raise my arm to the square to support Reid as sunday school teacher. He has no business being Mormon of the year. Why not choose someone who deserves it like a member of the twelve.

    Politicans and pundits should be excluded automatically.

  102. WillF on January 12, 2010 at 10:27 am

    If you want to learn more about Harry Reid’s thoughts on the Gospel, check out the forum address he have at BYU he gave in Oct 2007: http://www.byub.org/talks/Talk.aspx?id=1531

  103. Sscenter on January 12, 2010 at 10:30 am

    It was part of the rules that the apostles not be nominated because they would win every year.

  104. Tim B on January 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I suggest you do some digging into what the church and church leader’s views on the role of government are – I suggest you look into what Ezra Taft Benson has said about what things should be laws and what shouldn’t.
    Taking money forcefully from one person and giving to another is robbery by any other name, but when the government does it then all is well? I don’t think so. If someone held a gun to your head and told you to give them money is wrong, even if they are wearing a badge with 3 letters on it.

  105. SLO Sapo on January 12, 2010 at 10:52 am

    What about taking money forcefully from people and using it to wage preemptive wars of aggression? You okay with that? I wonder what Christ (not Ezra Taft Benson) would say.

  106. Tim B on January 12, 2010 at 10:55 am

    Thanks SLO Sapo for thinking I’m a Republican

    I am against the current wars being fought by the US Government and should be ended.

  107. John on January 12, 2010 at 10:58 am

    I am disappointed and amazed that an LDS man who has supported destruction of man’s free agency through numerous legislation would even be considered for this recognition. Now then, however, I could support his recognition as “Moron of the Year”.

    Has Mr. Reid, I refuse to call him Brother, ever read the Constitution of the United States? Has he listened to modern day prophets, like Ezra Taft Benson. The fight to dismantle our free agency has been enhanced through the actions and support of Mr Reid. He should be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, not honored!!

    Now, would you like to hear what I really think of him?!!

  108. Ardis Parshall on January 12, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I sometimes — okay, as often as it comes up — wish that the MSM wouldn’t pick up stories like this one. Articles like the one in the Trib may introduce some readers to the blogs, which they may never have heard of but which may be just the kind of community they’ve been looking for. But those articles are nets that gather of every kind …

    New, thoughtful readers have no way of knowing that most of the insane, inflammatory, hateful, and stupid commentary here comes from people who are also first-time visitors and whose rants do not reflect the usual level of discourse at the better blogs, like T&S.

    If you’re new to the blogs and you like the post itself but the comments turn you cold, try again in a few days when most of the one-note haters will have drifted off to other amusements.

    (I’m not a perma at T&S, so don’t blame them for this comment. I just like the blogs as they normally are, and this ain’t it.)

  109. SLO Sapo on January 12, 2010 at 11:07 am

    But I don’t hear you crying about Orrin Hatch depriving you of your free agency.

  110. Mindi on January 12, 2010 at 11:10 am

    I am horrified by this nomination! I can’t think of a worse person to nominate, unless you add Pelosi or Obama to the mix… oh wait… they aren’t Mormon… I guess I can’t hold them to a higher standard. I even got off of the phone with my own father a few nights ago asking why the Mormon Church hasn’t excommunicated Reid for his dirty dealings. If I were a non-Mormon investigating the Mormon Church, this would make me turn away and run as fast as I could. I don’t think this is a positive reflection on the Church at all… I think it is the most awful embarrassment. Harry Reid is just a Devil in disguise. There is nothing Christian about back-door dealings and bribes. I believe our Republic was created by God’s hand. I also believe God will have a hand in removing the people that are so readily destroying our Constitution and wonderful Country. I also believe, as has been said, that in the last days our Constitution will hang by a thread. Well, we are there. We are hanging by a thread through Harry Reid’s help, as the bills this House and Senate are passing are as Unconstitutional and wasteful as I have ever seen. Our GOD GIVEN rights are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness… not Government Control! Harry Reid is a disgrace to this Country and to his Mormon faith! In my eyes… you have discredited your entire website due to this nomination!

  111. E L Frederick on January 12, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Sscenter
    1/12/2010 at 10:30 amIt was part of the rules that the apostles not be nominated because they would win every year.

    … and this would be a bad thing why?

  112. Julie M. Smith on January 12, 2010 at 11:15 am

    If you used the word “socialism,” “communism,” “agency” or “Benson” in your comment, please go read this:

    http://www.utahcountydems.com/content/view/178

    Then return and report.

  113. Barbara Jones on January 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Initially when I saw that HARRY REID was awarded the Mormon of the year award I thought it was some sort of joke. I was astonished to realize that is wasn’t. How you can say that this man, who is a leader in a party that is anti-family and anti-religion is the Mormon of the year is ridiculous. Not to mention that he has come out publicly against the PROPHET’S and the LDS CHURCH’S stance on gay marriage. You need to do more research on your Mormon of the year.

  114. oudenos on January 12, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Mindi’s (comment 110) is a joke right? Even if it isn’t, it now stands as the raddest comment of this young year.

    To the blog admin: even though I am kind of thrilled (in a very unchristian way) to see so many people make jackasses of themselves, perhaps this string of comments is more harmful than instructive. I rarely want to deprive the masses venues in which to humiliate and abase themselves, but this thread has gotten out of hand. Please shut it down.

  115. bbell on January 12, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I am not really surprised by all the criticism of H. Reid here on T&S. Whenever I hear his name come up with other members of the church in casual conversation a firestorm of criticism erupts. A lot of the criticism goes back to his speech at BYU where he criticised Pres Benson and his stance and comments on gay marriage. He is out of the mainstream of LDS political thought hence he is a figure of controversy.

    That being said he probably should be Mormon of the year for the healthcare issue in Washington.

  116. John C on January 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I’m truly amazed at how callously the LDS can say things like “he should be excommunicated” or “I would not sustain him for Sunday School teacher if I was in his ward.”

    Really. Have you ever met Harry Reid? Perhaps you should meet him before you decide just how worthy he is to be a member of this church. I am ashamed at your exclusivity. Since when is it your job to decide who is worthy of a temple recommend? Why not work out your own salvation first?

    Good luck explaining to the big guy one day the attitude that anyone who may deviate slightly from the gospel deserves to only sit on the sidelines as a spectator without a calling, or, better yet, not be invited to the party of all. How very Christlike that attitude is.

    On another note, for those who think abortion is the great litmus test, I implore you to do some research. Ever heard of a Blue Dog Democrat? It’s a big movement involving Democrats opposed to abortion. And while I have your attention, please read the Democrat’s printed stance on abortion. It sounds very close to the LDS stance on abortion.

  117. Kristine on January 12, 2010 at 11:37 am

    The First Presidency was critical of President Benson’s political views–Reid is in good company.

  118. Chris Henrichsen on January 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Note to Times and Seasons Editors:

    I have had much harsher things to say about the political and economic thought of Ezra Taft Benson than anything Harry Reid has ever said. Please be sure not to make me Mormon of the Year in the future. It will make Tim B upset and I would not want that.

    I appears that a whole new group of nuts has found Times and Seasons. I must say that I find it entertaining.

  119. John C on January 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

    One last point: If you also think Reid should be excommunicated for so-called “shady dealings” then I also propose we excommunicate every card-holding member of every MLM. Talk about shady dealings. =)

  120. Chris Henrichsen on January 12, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Oh, and I agree with oudenos in #114 (though I have been part of the problem I am sure).

  121. RT on January 12, 2010 at 11:42 am

    One of the interesting problems in the church is how we define “doctrine.” We’re all aware of the ways this comes up. For example, we have general authorities who do a lot of formal and non-formal speaking. Are we “doctrinally” bound by the informal stuff they say, or even the formal stuff they say to small audiences?

    As one of the ways we deal with this problem is the “pulpit test.” If the First Presidency directs something to be said over the pulpit, that’s a pretty good sign we can rely on it as doctrine.

    In the context of politics and the gospel, the Lord’s prophet sends out a letter every year with his signature on it, and this letter says that the gospel does not strictly correlate to a particular political ideology. And not only does the prophet send it out with his signature attached, but he sends it to our bishops and asks that they read it to us over the pulpit in our sacrament meetings. As far as doctrine goes, this is as close to scripture as we get.

    But in spite of that clear message–and really, how could it be any clearer?–people like Tim B. and Mindi and C. Daniels still feel free to lecture us about the REAL relationship between the gospel, free agency, and political decisions made by governments. According to them, governmental involvement in our lives is actually an abrogation of free agency, and thus sinful.

    Well guess what, guys? The Democratic Party specifically disagrees, instead arguing that government can do good things for us. And most importantly for us latter-day saints, the Lord’s prophet has specifically told us that the Democratic Party is ok from a gospel standpoint. So unless my math is fuzzy, that means that governmental action is ok from a gospel standpoint too.

    So really, Harry Reid is not the one in need of repentance; rather, if repentance is an issue here, it should an issue for all the self-appointed theocrats who keep demanding that the rest of us listen to their version of the gospel, and not that which is actually taught to us over LDS pulpits by the living prophet.

  122. Z. on January 12, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Bottom line: Harry Reid didn’t do squat in 2009 to deserve any kind of award.

    The article only points out that he “shepherd[ed] Democratic legislative proposals through the U.S. Senate after the party’s victories in the 2008 elections, including a landmark health care bill that represents one of the more controversial pieces of legislation to pass through the Senate in recent memory.”

    Is that it? That’s enough to get you Mormon of the Year. Wow.

    My only guess is that T&S is trying to be contrary or different. That’s the only way their editors can prove they are so much more enlightened than their readers.

  123. Blake Messinger on January 12, 2010 at 11:48 am

    I just found this website and thought it was pretty cool, I am shocked at the amount of hate and venom I have read since I posted earlier this morning. I am not a Mormon but considered being baptized as a youth. My great-great grandfather came across the plains with Brigham Young and had very good standing in the LDS church, he was sent to Springville, UT after being an original settler to the SLC Valley.

    I posted a comment about my great Aunt who was the last dedicated Mormon in our family and who happened to be a Democrat. I hope those that are angry and hateful who are posting on this blog will only consider there are always two sides to an opinion. Life is not black and white but can also be gray and those who are politically different than yourselves should not be relegated to the ash heap.

  124. E L Frederick on January 12, 2010 at 11:51 am

    John C 1/12/2010 at 11:34 am
    I’m truly amazed at how callously the LDS can say things like “he should be excommunicated” or “I would not sustain him for Sunday School teacher if I was in his ward.”

    “Honest in all your business dealings” and it is quite obivious that H. Reid is not due to the press many of his business deals have gathered. I wouldn’t suggest excomunication, but a lack of sustainment I feel is justified.

    This kind of discussion wouldn’t be happening if T&S had picked someone worthy of such an honor, and not a politician.

  125. Rory Swensen on January 12, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Harry Reid is the proper choice and I’m proud that Times and Seasons has selected him for this designation. Working in the political sphere, there is no doubt that he has enemies and people who strongly disagree with him. That’s the nature of our political system. But he has built a career of service, ascended to lead the Senate Democrats in 2005, and is the highest ranking Mormon elected official. He was instrumental in working the political process within the Senate to hold together enough votes to pass the most significant social legislation in recent memory. And he is a fine example of a Latter-day Saint.

    Opening up these comments, there was bound to be disagreement and controversy. But the level of vitriol and outright hysteria displayed in these comments is shameful. I agree with #114, it is amusing to watch people make themselves out to be fools. Sadly, those who are in need of the lesson fail to see it, and therefore a learning moment is lost.

    True conservatism has been hijacked by the lunatic fringe, and our country is suffering because of it.

  126. Julie M. Smith on January 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

    E.L. Frederick, not sure how it works where you live, but in my ward, sustaining isn’t the same thing as a worthiness interview. Here, we let the *bishops* do the worthiness interviews and the sustaining in sacrament meeting means that we are sustaining what the bishop has felt inspired to do.

  127. Chris Henrichsen on January 12, 2010 at 11:53 am

    “worthy of such an honor”

    Are you serious? It is a blog. You all take yourselves (and apparently everything else) way too seriously.

  128. Mark B. on January 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Mindi suffers from forgetting Bismarck’s dictum, that one should not pay too careful attention to how laws or sausages are made.

  129. Mark B. on January 12, 2010 at 11:55 am

    To Blake,

    Come back in a few days after the nuts have left, and you’ll find it a much more civilized place.

  130. ADMIN on January 12, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks all for participating in comments. Mormon of the Year is a
    topic which many people have opinions about, and we appreciate the
    many perspectives that have been shared in this thread and in the
    earlier nomination and voting threads.

    This post received a moderate amount of media coverage, and we are
    happy to see so many new faces commenting here. It is unfortunate
    that many of the comments in this thread degenerated into scurrilous
    and ad hominem attacks. Such comments violate the Times and Seasons
    comment policy (http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/comment-policies/).
    We appreciate the efforts of many commenters to keep the discussion
    on topic.

    We also appreciate the reminders by many commenters that Democrats can
    certainly be Mormons. Examples like James E. Faust and Marlin K.
    Jensen make this clear. Of course, this does not mean that Reid or
    any other politician is immune from criticism. Many of the T&S
    permabloggers disagree strongly with Reid’s politics. T&S does not
    endorse any particular political party. (Remember, last year’s Mormon
    of the Year was Mitt Romney). However, we do believe that, this year,
    Harry Reid was the best choice for Mormon of the Year.

    All good things must come to an end. We often close comments when a
    thread goes over 100 comments, and this one is no exception. However,
    we hope that this doesn’t chase you off. Please stick around, and
    browse through features like our interviews with prominent church
    members (http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/category/features/12-questions/)
    or our Mormon Images series
    (http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/category/features/mormon-images/),
    or the posts in general. If you really feel a need to weigh in about
    the Mormon of the Year, you can e-mail us at timesandseasonsblog (at)
    gmail (dot) com . We may post particularly relevant or original
    feedback. Or, if you’d like to comment on a related topic, you should
    visit our sidekick blog By Common Consent, which is currently hosting
    a thread on Gentile of the Year.
    (http://bycommonconsent.com/2010/01/11/boggs-doniphan-award-2009-winner/)

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